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Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "The Living Writers of America" (A), manuscript, 1846-1847







[Full page 1, front:]



    The Living Writers of America. Some Honest Opinions about their Literary Merits, with Occasional Words of Personality. By Edgar A. Poe. With <a> Notice>>s<< of the Author by James Russell Lowell >> & P. P. Cooke<<

    Begin with the Memoir>>s<< — to which append Willis’, Simms’, and Field’s personal descriptions. <End with a foot-note* referring to Publisher's Appendix of Notices, prefaced with excuses for giving them.>

    Next — Introduction — viz: — The difficulty of writing about contemporaries — Proverbial sensitiveness of authors — Instance this in an account of the germ of the present work — state the great circulations of Lady’s Book, giving Godey’s advertisements etc — how he was badgered into giving up — Introduce (conditionally) a * [[a note]] referring to English’s attack. — Then original Preface — Success induced me to extend the plan — careful investigation — discard petty animosities — it will be seen that where through petulance or neglect, or under-estimate of the impression the papers were to make, I have done injustice, I have not scrupled to repair the wrong, even at the expense of consistency. The man who is consistent is a fool — <My qualifications for the task.> General object I propose is to convey to foreigners (the English especially) and to those among my own countrymen who cannot be supposed conversant with the arcana, a full view of our Literature, a desideratum — material scattered about and contradictory — conventional manner of criticism inadequate to convey distinct impression — analyze it — instance it — quiz it.

How far the journals are reliable — have already spoken partially on this topic in the preface to the “Literati — English see only Eastern opinion — see artic. [[article]] on Wilmer — also Am. Poet. [["American Poetry"]] in Aristed." [[Aristidean]] — speak of the N. Am. R. [[North American Review]] — its proverbial laudation of N. E. [[New England]] men — incidentally to this topic, bring in the fact that the great majority of our books are written & published by northern men — this on a/c [[account]] of the natural advance of civilization from E to W. [[East to West]] — Political sectional animosities altogether independent of the partisan animosities of England, and such as equally affect us — result a depreciation of Southern & Western talent, which upon the whole is greater, more vivid, fresher, than that of the North, less conventional, less conservative — want of centralization gives birth to a peculiar cliquism whose separate penchants render it nearly impossible to get at the truth — Instance the Humanity clique — to which belong Emerson, Lowell, Hawthorne, Godwin, Fuller, Mrs Child, Whittier — a mixture of Puritm [[Puritanism]], Transcendm [[Transcendentalism]] and Credulity. — seldom find one who is not hom [[homoeopathist]], Preissnit [[Preissnitsian]], Mesmer [[Mesmerist]], Swed [[Swedenborgian]], Fourier [[Fourierite]] — inst [[instance]] “Present” Smolnikar etc — and who judge all literature in accordance with its hobby — even insisting on estimating works of professed art by such criterion. — The M Ad [[Mutual Admiration]] Society, Mathews, Duyckinck, Jones, Cheever etc once — now reduced to Mathews and Duyckinck. The Magazines, for the most part, organs of cliques — honorable exception in favor of Colton — Books on Am Lit [[American Literature]] — Cheever, Kettell, Keese, Bryant, Griswold — an account of each — foreigners apt to be deceived by such a work as Griswold’s — here valued only as a compendium — Baron ————’s [[Van Rauimer’s]] judgment of it about Hoffman. — Quote what Griswold says abt [[about]] me, to show that I am not misled by soreness — How is the public to know that I am in better condition to give the truth — appeal to the public in regard to my whole editorial career — in great measure aloof from cliques — swearing by no master — after all the best evidence is internal — in my criticisms I have seldom given an opinion without at least the semblance of a reason — have all my life dealt in criticism — opinion of my contemporaries — refer to Appendix. I give these opinions, too, first because I have a right to be proud of them and, second, because the charge of vanity is one which I feel able to bear — Query? shall I subject myself to the possible charge of vanity (in other words of being proud of that of which none but a conceited ass could help being proud) — or shall I suffer the public to remain under [full page 1, back:] a false impression?

General glance at our literature. An erroneous idea that there is anything very distinctive about it. — Allude to the talk of the British critics about our duties as a young country — instance the Athenaeum’s critique on my poems etc. — general idea in England that Americans are all blacks or Indians — we are, in fact, only politically young — we are a continuation of England — we have known no aera (vid [[vide]] Macaulay). What is a true Nationality — the cant of the M An [[Mutual Admiration]] society abt [[about]] it — there should be no nationality — the world the proper stage —  Ө [[insert appended text about “English cant . . .” here]] distant subjects in fact most desirable — nationality means, according to Mathews, toadying Americans & abusing foreigners right or wrong — quote pencilled par [[paragraph]] from Am Actors [[American Actors]] in D R [[Democratic Review]], Sep 46 [[September 1846]], — Copy from rev [[review]] of Wilmer in “Graham” passage about effect of wholesale laudation of Americans. — As a colony we are prone to ape the mother country*-men of letters, unmoved by political animosity, have no reason not to admire — another source of imitativeness is that our literature (for Copyright reasons) is altogether in the hands of a class proverbial for conservatism — the “gentlemen of elegant leisure.” — As a new country, too, we have a natural bias toward utilitarianism — “the good afterwards.” Folly of measuring all others — that is, their fames — with the fames of the old English worthies — “can America ever show a Milton” is often asked. — No — nor England either — that is a Milton’s fame. When Milton lived no competition — required infinitely less genius then than now to acquire fame — that is to rise above the ocean-level. — We should, compare Cooper with Dickens and so on. — The aristocracy of dollars here tends, also, to depress genius which, as a general rule, is poor, for the reason that it seeks especially the unpurchasable pleasures. — Just as wealth is — worshipped, so is poverty despised, and in every way depressed. A poor genius may triumph in England — rarely here. There is no aristocracy of dollars. — Publishers here seldom glance at the work of a poor author, while our rich dillettanti have little trouble in getting a (of course temporary and factitious) fame. Neal, Willis, Hawthorne (the three best) have been abused or neglected — Osborn also — Benjamin, Kennedy, Paulding, Cooper, Longfellow, Calvert, Sprague, Doane, Wilde, succeed. Wealth or social position determines an authorts success here very emphatically. The want of Copy Right Law however, depresses us more than all else. Say how. Question overloaded with words — give it in brief — see Marginalia — Mirror. — Look at Copy Right pamphlets — Lieber etc. — Law would have been passed but for the ridicule thrown upon it by Mathews. — Journalism here — Quarterlies rather sectional than partisan — Barrets opinion see Broadway Journal: — manner in which they ape the British essay-reviews — pretend to be more dignified, however, and are especially behind the qui vive spirit of the age — have alluded already to the gross dishonesty of the N. Am. [[North American]]. Touch incidentally upon criticism of it — system of self-puffery. Our Magazines are, upon the whole, the best representatives of our literature — quote from D. R. [[Democratic Review]] opinion of the Lon. For. Quar [[London Foreign Quarterly]] — (in the article on Western Tales) their chief distinction is that they deal more in criticism than the English. — The $3s are a feature peculiar to us. — Give an account of all — the puff advertisements — fashion-plates — anomalous character-good writers — prices paid to myself and others — extensive circulation — influence on our letters depressing — tempted by high prices men of genius contribute — good articles rejected — instance myself, Gold-B. [[“The Gold-Bug”]], Raven, Vald Case [[“Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”]] — result is men of genius send their refuse — worse than the refuse of men of talent — see Burton — finally finding themselves in danger of ruining their reputations, they drop off or starve (for it is their best resource) — $3s going rapidly down. Newspapers impossible to rival the foreign on account of the want of centralization — see “Journalism” American Review. In general far better edited (in proportion to circulation and pay of editors) than the British because our men of talent are forced into the service of journalism as a dernier ressort.

* Disposition to worship models greater here than in the mother country. Depreciating effect. see Pol. Education [[“Political Education — Statemanship”]] Am. R. [[American Review]] Ap 46 [[April 1846]]

[full page 2, front:]


Conclude Introduction by a Glance at dead authors — see Griswold’s books.

Next — Authors, as they occur, with autograph.

End — with a Resume and Classification in several Departments of Letters. The spirit of cliquerie perhaps the worst feature we have, next to the want of International Law — to be remedied only by establishment of a Magazine very distinctive from any yet established — whose honesty shall be guaranteed by a total rejection of the anonymous, and whose opinion shall be self-sustained. It is here that the greatest efforts are most rationally to be expected. In this epoch of profound thought guided and rendered effective by analytic art

Circular battle of authors. [[To the left of this phrase, Poe has drawn a large circle.]]

Men of truest genius despise ambition — not likely to come forward under present circumstances — prophecy that from those scarcely heard of as yet will arise our great men — reason for including so many.

un  >>Philadelphia clique — Neal, Chandler, McMichael, Godey, Smiths, Browns, Mitchell.<<

>>Griswold . . . as to best poems — no opinion of his own about anything.<<  In what respect my book will, differ from all others. >>Not his fault that New England writers fill the book.<<

 — in a cursory work our prejudices and partialities peep out without our being aware of it.

||  >>Excuse for egotism of a work which discusses men and letters with which I have been so mixed. I shall at every hazard write a plain straightforward. << Must expose the wires.
||  No order observed and frequently the length of the articles, or the insertion of the person at all (as in the case of Clark and English) had reference only to the principle involved. Thus &c

oo  >>No intention to be profound. Touch upon the criticism in vogues, which avoiding particulars deals in vague generalities to conceal incapacity and may be made to mean anything as occasion demands — Non-Commitalism. <<  >>Approbation or condemnation may be found writing of 2 authors at diff. [[different intervals]] & without the published papers before me, stronger expression may be applied to the weaker yet the weaker be the favorite. This difficulty to be remedied only by a connected work.<<

==  Defect of the “Literati” that the length of each article was naturally taken as the measure of the author’s importance — this arose from fragmentary character of the papers, which were rifacimentos. Show how, in this way, erroneous estimate of comparative >>$<<  which for want of the C. R. [[Copy Right]] Law is thus rendered essentially scrappy. Repugnance to regard a short work as great. Distinguish. A mountain affects us by bulk. Instance Whelpley — Monam Mountain. Hunter — Definition of Clas. Webber

±  >>The toadyism of the portraits in Griswold’s Prose Authors.<<

Ө  >>English cant about our “vast forests” etc, Our men of letters generally live in cities, and all great works have thence emanated. Besides the true poet is less affected by the absolute contemplation than the imagination of a great landscape. Living among such scenery is the surest way not to feel it.<<

¶  >>Put this in publisher’s mouth, “Let those judge others who themselves excel and censure freely Who have written well.”<<

‡  Excuse for publishing Reply to E. [[English]]* Deficient circulation of original reply, Godey demands a rep. [[reply]] and I wrote it and sent it to him at his request. After a month’s delay it appeared in the Sp of Times [[Spirit of the Times]] without my seeing proofs and accompanied by the following letter. [Give it]. To which I sent the following reply. [Give it]. Godey returns the letters and refuses me the 100 papers — am written to in various quarters, [Give southern letter]. Lest public might suppose Godey’s dignity offended — is a little round oily man with a fat head — true reason, scared — refer to com. [[communication]] of Hale to Hunt. — No animosity — treated me on the whole better than any.    Only a sample of what all have to suffer. That I was not unreasonable by his advertisement — 50 per cent. He urged the publication. He would not back out.

†  >>Excuse my personality. No offensiveness of course. Except in certain rare cases no delicacy required. Why should distinction be made between an engraved and written portrait? General desire to know the man as well as the author. Imposs. [[Impossible]] to give intelligible view without <<

*  Put all this in an Appendix note — “to my personal friends”

[full page 2, back:]

Transcendentalism — agree with Sue — refer briefly to my notes for review of Wandering Jew — disagree with Phalanxes etc — may and probably will come to pass at some distant epoch — but man will be foiled as usual — instance the fact that in proportion to excess so depression — in proportion to enjoyment so the fear of death — as well try to carry oneself in a basket — doubt if one nation is any happier than another — there is a perpetual system of checks, showing clearly the intention of Deity — just as the phalansteries advance in artificial comforts will they fall off in their sense of enjoyment. There is no doubt that in general there can be a small advance made in human happiness, by throwing ourselves loose from artificialities priestcraft etc — very nearly as Sue indicates — cultivating our tastes, passions etc — as in the case of Adrienne. At all events the limit to Hum. Prog. [[Human Progress]] is infinitely narrower than the Socialists suppose it.

Filth of the mouth and fog o’ the mind.

Tendency of the transcend. [[transcendentalists]] to reject Art — to regard the artist as inconsistent with the worker.

Gen. Memoranda.

Books wanted “Griswold's Poets & Poetry of Am” & “Prose Writers of Am”.
Kettell’s “Specimens”.
Keese’s Collection
Morris’       ”    [[Collection]]
Cheever’s “Common-Place-Book”.
Bryant’s Collection.
Tuckerman’s “Thoughts on the Poets”
S. L. Messenger. — Vols 1.2.3.
“Graham” complete.
Am. Rev [[American Review]] — complete.
Articles, abt [[about]] 3 years ago, in Lond. For. Quar. [[London Foreign Quarterly]] on Am. Poetry & Am. Romance
Simms’ Views & Reviews.
Curios, of Lit: Griswold — Greeley & McElrath.
Lardner’s Lect. —————— do — do

Write to Neal — Brooks — to Thomas abt. [[about]] Welby, Prentice, — Cist abt. Mrs. Nichols, Hall. Speak to Cooper abt. publication. To Mrs Hale for autog. & Reply. To Benjn abt self and Mathews. To Ide — ask Morris who wrote notices.

Critics — Emerson, Godwin, Neal, Dana, Tuckerman, Whipple, Simms, Colton.

Intersperse from “Marginalia” — Look it all over at each author.

Ask Mrs. Gove who is the author of “Why this sighing for the unattained & dim?” — Winslow.

In quizzing the Transcendental poems quote Sternhold & Hopkins.

[fragment 1, front:]


[[Longfellow and]] Sprague are desperate imitators.

Distinct from the error arising from the vast sectional animosities is an analogous one (confined however, more closely to our own people) and that is cliquism, springing from want of a great central emporium like London or Paris, (and giving rise to antagonism and confusion of opinion). Each of our chief cities has its clique. New York is at present the chief focus, but must rapidly lose its ascendancy. The most desperate clique is that of the Humanity party of Boston.

    Describe it as well as it can be described. As its chief trait is confusion and mysticism, they naturally do not very clearly see their own objects or limits. — They could not define their own position and it cannot be expected that I can define them exactly. They differ from the Humanity party of England in the want of precision in their purposes. If there is any one binding principle it is Credulity. Never saw one of them who is not at once Mesmerist, Phrenologist, Preissnitsian, Swedenborgian, Fourieritet and Fanny Wright,[theor]ies for which the [Bostoni]an intellect seems [to ha]ve a natural af. [[afffinity]] — For want of a more comprehensive term and for no better reason we may class them all as Transcendentalists. — The public have naturally adopted this term from its idea that their doctrine (whatever it is) is like the peace [“which passeth all understanding “] ......... about    (Cetera desunt[fragment 1, back:]

Nationality. We dem [[demand]] that nationality wh. [[which]] will do all it can to procure our authors fair play — we dem [[demand]] for instance, the firm advocacy of a Cop. R. [[Copy Right]] Law to put them on equal grounds with the Eng. [[English]] — but beyond this wh. [[which]] is called Nationality is adverse to the Nation. We demand that nationality which will not cringe to foreign opinion — but we repudiate that nationality wh. [[which]] wd. [[would]] throw off all respect for it — We do our Literature grosser wrong in over-praising our authors than the British cd. [[could]] possibly do in over-abusing them. We shd. [[should]] drop the gross folly of forcing our readers to relish a stupid book the better because sure enough its stupidity was American.

[fragment 2, front:]

Criticism — its idiosyncrasy here (if any) aping the mother country — see true offices of criticism notice of Mathews in “Graham” — the idea of fostering — see commencement of review of Halleck in S.L.M. — also review of Wilmer— conservative* criticism inadequate to convey distinct impression — analyze it, instance it — quiz it — see Briggs on Macaulay Democratic Review.

Begin with this

In a few years our literature will assume a new character — the tendency to think which is characteristic of the age is especially so in a republic — a Copy-right law will be passed — it seems advisable now to sum up what has been done and to prophecy what we can do. We will entirely throw off the shackles of a conservative criticism and we may look for better works originating here than have originated elsewhere. Our system of Education more thorough than the English. [fragment 2, back:]

Mrs Sigo[urney] [[Her name appears in the margin, but the text it accompanied has been cut off.]]

Longfellow [[His name appears in the margin]] . . . [on] the whole the best poet we [. . .] misrepresentation of “Evening Gazette”. See scrap about Harney N. Boo[l]

As a critic. Germanic. Flowery — trite. see Arc. [[Arcturus]] 3.153.

Add to plagiarism in Rep. to Outis [[“Reply to Outis”]] from Yankee p. 32-72. 378 — also Bel. City [[“The Beleagured City”]]. also Rain Mrs Smith see B. J. [[Broadway Journal.]]

Get Waif — Poets and Poetry of Europe — Ou. [[Outre]] Mer. Plag. [[Plagiarism]] see B. J. [[Broadway Journal]], 2.72 [[volume 2, p. 172]]. “Rain” Graham’s Aug. also same no: [[number]] P. & P. of Europe [[The Poets and Poetry of Europe]].

HERBERT ? — Son of Eng. [[English]] nobleman — see poems in “Graham” [[Graham’s Magazine]]. Scholar. Translations. See “Roman Traitor.” — write to him.

HEADLEY —— See scrap in bundle — also “Alfieri” D R [[Democratic Review]] >>Nov<< 44 [[November 1844]] — “Paul Jones” Am R. [[American Review]] Sep. 46 [[September 1846]] — “Nap and Marsh” [[“Napoleon and Marshals”]] Am R. [[American Review]] May 46 [[1846]] — “Oliver Crom:” [[“Oliver Cromwell”]] Am. R. [[American Review]] Ap 46 [[April 1846]] — nervou [[nervous,]] not so much imag. [[imaginative]] as impressed easily — admires dash & sublimity — writes with a catching enthusiasm on which his Irish headlong style too often throws a wet blanket — his vivacity of fancy often throws him on a vivid image. Is full of the subject & grasps its gen. [[general]] features — no powers of reason[. . .]


[[Gimbel fragment:]]

... the deception only upon seeing my own previous jeu d’esprit. The great effect wrought on the public mind is attributable, first, to the novelty of the conception; secondly, to the fancy-exciting and reason-repressing character of the alleged discoveries; thirdly, to the tact with which the matter was brought forth; and, fourthly, to the vraisemblance of the narration. Here introduce the discussion of vraisemblance from Margin[alia] in Graham’s.


[[Plus quote of Simms review from N. A. Review, from October 1846, 63:357-381:]]

The author of The Yemassee, Guy Rivers, Life of Marion, & a good many other things of that sort is a writer of great pretensions & some local reputation. We remember to have read in some one of the numerous journals wh. [[which]] have been illustrated by his genius, an amusing explanation from his pen, addressed to persons who had applied to him for information, of the difference between author and publisher, — the object of it being evidently to tell the public that he was often written to by persons who, being anxious to get his works, very naturally fancied that he was the proper person to obtain them from, and to let the applicants know that the trade part of the book business was in quite different hands. We were struck by the ingenuity of the announcement, and grateful for the information thus condescendingly imparted. We availed ourselves of it to procure some of the volumes, which we proceeded forthwith to read and inwardly digest. Both of these processes were attended with no ordinary difficulties; but we believe we were uncommonly successful at last. (The author of these novels means to be understood as setting up for an original, patriotic, native Am. [[American]] writer; but we are convinced that every judicious reader will set him down as uncommonly deficient in the first elements of originality. He has put on the cast-off garments of the British novelists, merely endeavoring to give them an Am. [[American]] fit; and, like those fine gentlemen who make up their wardrobes from the 2d hand cloth. [[clothing]] <stores> shops, or from the unp. [[unparalleled]] estab. [[establishment]] of Oak Hall, there is in his literary outfits a decided touch of the shabby genteel. The outward form of his novels is that of their English models; the current phrases of sentiment and description, worn threadbare in the circulating libraries, and out at the elbows, are the robes wherewith he covers imperfectly the nakedness of his invention. The obligato tone of sentimentality wearisomely drones through the soft passages of the thousand times repeated plot of love. To borrow a metaphor from one of the unhappy experiences of domestic life, the tender lines are so old that they are spoiled; they have been kept too long, and the hungriest guest at the intellectual banquet finds it nauseating to swallow them. The style of Mr Simms — we mean (for, like other great writers, he designates him[sel]f by th[e titles] of his chief prod. [[productions]], r[are]ly condescending to the c[ompa]rative [. . .]  
 


 
 



 
   

 
Notes:

    This manuscript of 2 full leaves and 2 fragments, all with writing on both sides, was part of the papers Poe left behind after his death. All of the main surviving manuscript (MA 624) is currently owned by the Morgan Library in New York. There are also what are apparently 2 other fragments. One of these fragments, about vraisemblance (perhaps in regard to R. A. Locke) is in the Gimbel collection at the Philadelphia Free Public Library. The second fragment is a portion of a handwritten copy of a harshly negative review about W. G. Simms from the North American Review of October 1846. The main manuscript is hastily written, full of cancelled and inserted material, and with a liberal scattering of abbreviations, all of which make reading and presenting a coherent text challenging. In spite of these difficulties, there are a number of interesting bits of informatin here, and with most of his manuscripts being clean copies for publishers or autographs, this document may be the closest thing we have to seeing Poe in the process of working out his ideas.

    The main manuscript first appears in the Bangs & Co. auction of April 11, 1896, as item 99, where it was sold for $36, apparently to Bishop John Fletcher Hurst. (Although the name of the owner was withheld, it was William Griswold, the son of Rufus Wilmot Griswold.) The entry in the catalog is as follows:
 

 
99. POE (EDGAR ALLAN). Original MS. Prospectus and Memoranda for “The Livng Writers of America.” Some honest opinons about their literary merits with occasional Words of Personality by Edgar A. Poe, with Notices of the Author by James Russell Lowell and P. P. Cooke.” 8 pp. 4to and folio.

  * Closely written, with numerous erasures, interlineations, etc. Some of the passages are very interesting and characteristic. “* * * the Humanity clique to which belong Emerson, Lowell, Hawthorne, Godwin, Filter [[ Fuller]], Mrs. Child, Whittier, a mixture of Puritanisim, Transcendentalism and Credulity.” Further, in speaking of magazines, “tempted by high prices men of genius contribute — good articles rejected — instance myself, Gold B., Raven, Vald. Case.”

 

    Bishop Hurst’s collection was sold by the Anderson Auction Co. in New York on March 20-23, 1905. The manuscript appears in the catalog for the sale as item 3482. It was purchuased by Stephen H. Wakeman, and sold in 1909 to Mr. Pierpont Morgan.  A portion of the beginning of the manuscript was given in transcription by J. H. Whitty in his edition of Poe’s Complete Poems, 1911, pp. lx-lxi. The full surviving text was first printed, with extensive notes, by Burton R. Pollin, “The Living Writers of America: A Manuscript by Edgar Allan Poe,” Studies in the American Renassiance 1991, pp. 151-211. In this printing, Pollin omits the Gimbel fragment and includes as an appendix a long item on Eugene Sue’s The Wandering Jew, which, although arguably related to the Living Writers project, was actually a manuscript from a proposed installment of “Marginalia.”

    The Gimbel manuscript was not part of the sale in 1896, and was apparently already separated from the rest of the manuscript, perhaps given to someone as a sample of Poe’s handwriting. Although it does appear to be related to the present manuscript, the fragment has writing on only one side.

    The handwritten copy of the review of Simms appears in the Bangs sale for April 1, 1896 as item 93:


 
93. POE (EDGAR ALLAN). Original MS. 2 pp. 4to. A Criticism on Wm. Gilmore Simms.

    “There is in his literary outputs a decided touch of the shabby genteel.”

    This is in decided contradiction to the opinon expressed in the Literati, where Poe speaks of Simms as a man of genuis.

 

The author of the catalog is clearly, if understandably, under the erroneous assumption that the review of Simms was composed by Poe. This error explains the contradiction which is in fact not a contradiction as only the “Literati” opinion is expressed by Poe. This fragment was later sold at auction as item 286 on Dec. 16-17, 1929, from the collection of Professor Edward Sandford Burgess. That catalog gives a facsimile of the front of the page, which includes the same quote as noted in the 1896 entry. The bottom of the page is cut off, with some pieced torn from the edge. This 1929 catalog also quotes a portion of the manuscript which is not on the front of the page, suggesting that the back of the page begins: “It is dif [[difficult]] to imag [[imagine]] what cd [[could]] have indd [[induced]] those resp [[respectable]] pub [[publishers]] into printing, as one of the series, that indesy. [[indescribably]] studpid imit [[imitation]] of Dickens, entitled & called B. A. & L. M. [[Big Abel and the Little Manhattan]] -- a patrio. [[patriotic]] cont [[contribution]] to the native Am Lit [[American Literature]] a good deal worse than the very worst things of the Yem [[Yemassee]] & G R [[Guy Rivers]] . . . .” One interesting aspect of this manuscript copy is that the original text for the article as it appears in the pages of the North American Review gives “endeavouring,” using the British spelling, while Poe has copied it as “endeavoring,” dropping the “u” and thus suggesting that he preferred what is now the more common American spelling. 
 
     




S:0 - LVW, 1846-1847, photocopy of MS) - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Misc - The Living Writers of America (A)